During the holiday season, many delicious but calorie-heavy foods appear on tables, in buffets, and at parties. As a result, we become more anxious to lose or maintain a healthy weight, yet we often avoid going to the gym or dieting because “weight loss” gets associated with deprivation and exhaustion.
If this describes you, don’t despair. The hot tub, one of the most relaxing locations available, can also contribute to weight loss. Let the staff at SpaCap teach you how.
Maybe we should start by saying that the hot tub isn’t just for relaxing anymore. It’s no secret that physical activity burns calories so the trick is to be active even in the spa.
Stretching and rotating your arms and legs is easier to do in the hot tub because the water helps support you and warms your muscles while you work them. Start slowly with some stretches and arm motions with your arms and shoulders under the water to get limbered up. Then sit up straight and do some twists (gently) turning the your shoulders to the left and right while keeping your knees and hips stationary.
When performed safely, yoga is one of the easiest workouts for those who love hot tubs. With guidance from a yoga teacher or spotter, try poses such as the “wall dog”, “up dog,” or “lunge twist.” These poses stretch several muscle groups at once, including the arms, legs, torso, and back.
The breathing that hot tub yoga requires also helps the body relax and aids digestion. If you engage in hot tub yoga after eating, the deep breaths will help move the food through the digestive system more efficiently than it would if you were simply sitting on the couch. Deep breathing also increases metabolism so it not only burns calories it also helps your body recover more quickly from sickness and or injury.
With that in mind, as you practice your hot tub yoga, try to be conscious of deep controlled breathing. Get that oxygen into your blood and moving through your body.
As I said above, hot tubs are not just for relaxing. They’re also fun places to play active games with your family and friends. Try Hot Tub Hockey, in which teams earn points by moving an object like a rubber duck or Ping-Pong ball to each other’s sides of the tub without using their hands. You can also try Pass the Bottle, requiring everyone to pass a tightly capped bottle of water around the hot tub using every body part except their hands. Players may not use the same body parts twice in a row (i.e., passing from knee to knee or shoulder to shoulder). If the bottle drops, the dropper must perform a penalty task and the game begins again.
Use Hot Tubs as a Way to Eat and Sleep Well
Eating right and getting adequate sleep tends to go out the window during the holidays. Do not let this happen to you.
Before you dig into everything that the holidays have to offer, take a moment to look over what’s in front of you and make choices that you won’t have to “pay for” later. Pastries and chips taste great but they don’t make a meal. Drinking a meal supplement before eating will help you not over eat. Like the old saying, “don’t go shopping when you’re hungry,” the same is true when eating during the holidays.
Eat the meats, leafy green salads and veggies without the breads and you’ll be well fed and happier later on. Try to avoid the fat fried foods. Our family switched to an air fryer from Philips. The food tastes great without all the added fat you would normally get from frying in oil.
If you’re having a hot tub party, supply healthy snacks that can be eaten in the tub, such as veggie trays with low-calorie dip or appetizers made with shrimp or lean meats. If you struggle with insomnia, try slipping out to the hot tub for a set period just before going to bed. The warm water will help your muscles relax and send melatonin to your brain.
Okay, as you would expect, we have to mention that if you intend to get the healthy benefits from using your hot tub, you have to be able to use it easily everyday. That requires that it be easy, or we will start to find reasons not to. After being in the Spa Cover business for thirty plus years, we have learned a few things about human nature when it comes to using a hot tub.
When we first get our spas, we are excited and it is easy to find the time to use it everyday. Like a kid with a new toy. But eventually, that “newness” wears off. Then you have to decide that the benefits you get from using the hot tub are worth the time it takes out of your schedule.
You have to pick a time of day that it works for you and make it part of your routine. Personally, I like to make it at the end of the day just before bed. It helps me sleep better and wake up refreshed. But that’s me. Some people love to start their day with a dip in the spa before the day gets hectic. They find it helps them keep a positive outlook throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter when you decide it works for you, you just make it part of your routine and go from there.
But that’s not the problem. The thing that causes most hot tub owners to eventually stop using their spa is the cover. The standard foam filled spa cover available at every spa dealer across the country. The lid that gets thrown in as an after thought when you buy the spa. Crazy right?
Here’s how it happens. The foam starts to saturate with moisture from the steam rising off the spa water. It doesn’t happen fast, in fact it happens slowly over time so that you don’t even notice it. After a few months, the spa cover is heavier but because you have been using the spa everyday you didn’t notice the gradual change.
It’s an even bigger problem on a swim spa since the standard rigid foam swim spa covers have more sections that get heavy at different rates. So you play games trying to open only the panels that are still light enough to manage. Eventually you end up trying to swim with only a couple panels open. Plus with the added height of the swim spa, getting a heavy cover back up on the spa is just dangerous.
Before you know it, getting the cover off and on takes a lot more effort. You might not even consciously notice it but one day you think about getting into the tub and you decide to skip it. You’re just not up to it tonight.
Why would you “skip” the thing that makes you sleep better and live healthier? Because it requires too much effort. That simple foam filled cover becomes a barrier between you and the hot tub you spent all that money on. The same hot tub you couldn’t wait to get into, is just too much work now because of a heavy spa cover.
Eventually, you can’t remember the last time you used it.
You then have to make a choice. Do you get a new cover and get back to using it or do you (and this is the one that just makes no sense to me) get rid of it and reclaim that part of your back yard.
I hope you decide to get a new cover. That hot tub is like a daily vacation that your body and mind need to “re-boot” and stay healthy. But before going out and buying another cover just like the one you’re replacing, consider something better.
At SpaCap.com, we have been building Spa Covers, that are light weight, easy to use and built to stay that way. There are no rigid foam panels in the SpaCap so there’s nothing to soak up that steam and get heavy.
We are not going to go over all the details here but you should check them out for yourself on the website. Then do yourself a huge favor and order one for your spa.